Art, Life and Programming: Programming

Binary
Binary

Earlier, we talked about how programmers weren’t perhaps what you expect. Code isn’t either. Programmers used to program using series of 1’s and 0’s punched into cards (crikey!) but that’s not the case any more.

Program code has got more and more high level, and some languages are actually quite readable by humans! Some programming can even be done using drag and drop.

Programming is really just a way of thinking. More and more people are becoming programmers, some of them without realizing that’s what they’re doing.

Alice
Alice

Images from www.alice.org

You can learn to program using The Sims – isn’t that awesome? It’s a great initiative called Alice.

Warcraft World Editor
Warcraft World Editor

Image used with permission of Kelvin Schutz

More and more video games come with programming capabilities, Warcraft is another example.

There are also programs such as Game Maker or Fusion that allow you to create video games without writing any code – you just have to learn to think logically!

Fractal - created using Processing
Fractal - created using Processing

This is relatively simple to create, and doesn’t require much code. It’s recursive, which means we split it into the same problem again and again and again – until we reach something really small and easily solved – in this case by drawing and filling in a square.

Here's the code!
Here's the code!

That’s pretty short, hey?

Conversation Graph
Conversation Graph

This is something I’m working on currently, what I try to do is take some of the huge volume of information we’re presented with every day and make it into something that’s both pretty and useful. For instance, this shows the size and interactions in my Twitter network.

Clique Graph
Clique Graph

We can also write programs to extract important information from the noise. Here, this graph picks out my core, central network.

The “hard” part of the code is just 6 lines!

Imagine how difficult it would be to create these things by hand!

The Future
The Future

Credit: flickr / Vermin Inc

Technology has changed our lives considerably relatively recently – we have new and impressive “hardware” and creative and innovating programming. This is just the begining – there’s much more to come.

Technologists – hardware designers, programmers – are at the center of what we will achieve next.

(Don’t you want to be part of that?)

Final Thoughts
Final Thoughts

Look around – changes are happening rapidly – in 15 years, you could be talking about what’s happened in your lifetime.

Be inspired! Human innovation is INCREDIBLE!

Push boundaries! Be limited only by your imagination.

Experiment!

Contact
Contact

6 thoughts on “Art, Life and Programming: Programming

  1. Hey Cate,
    I have spent my late lunch break to read through your four posts… and I am AMAZED. This is one of the best presentations about programming that I have seen in a long time. Thank you so much for this. I will send it straight to my little brother who is agonizing over career choices 😉
    Thanks again!

  2. Hey Cate,
    I have spent my late lunch break to read through your four posts… and I am AMAZED. This is one of the best presentations about programming that I have seen in a long time. Thank you so much for this. I will send it straight to my little brother who is agonizing over career choices 😉
    Thanks again!

  3. Thanks so much for your comment – I got it right before I went to give the English version and it was a nice boost 🙂

    I hope it’s helpful to your brother, too!

  4. Thanks so much for your comment – I got it right before I went to give the English version and it was a nice boost 🙂

    I hope it’s helpful to your brother, too!

  5. yes, that’s what i’m dreaming of, the intersection between computer science and art!

    actually i’m using java+prefuse now in order to analyze people interactions in twitter.
    i just wanted to ask, were you using the alpha or beta release of prefuse? coz i notices your edges have different colors, this can be achieved directly with the alpha release, but it is not in the beta.

    NorahIK

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